Students Invest their Time to Maintain Local Mid-Century Modern National Historic Landmark

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The H.H. Dow High School International Baccalaureate Theory of Knowledge (ToK) class recently worked on a service project at the Alden B. Dow Home and Studio.
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Students painted the Unit Block "grape vine wall" in the inner courtyard of the Home and Studio. Architect Alden B. Dow designed 13 structures that used his rhomboid-shaped Unit Block system.

Teacher Sarah Pancost’s ToK class meets once a week at the Alden B. Dow Home and Studio for this year-long class that spans the last semester of the students’ junior year and the first semester of their senior year.

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The ToK course is at the heart of the International Baccalaureate Program. It encourages critical thinking skills and reflection about the interconnectedness of all academic disciplines.

"Our weekly trips to the Home and Studio look to Alden Dow, his work and his philosophies, to bring a real-life example of the IB Learner Profile and mission," Pancost said. 

The Alden B. Dow Home and Studio also works in partnership with the Midland High School International Baccalaureate ToK classes.

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Before starting their project, Alden B. Dow Home and Studio Director Craig McDonald asked the students how many of them played in the Fun Zone growing up, enjoyed the flowers that are planted down Eastman Avenue each year or had participated in the Days of Caring.

 "These are just a few of the many community service projects we see in Midland," McDonald told the class. 

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Since 1990, The Dow Corning Corp. and The Dow Chemical Co. have donated all the Allguard Elastomeric Coating used to preserve the Unit Blocks of the Home and Studio. The coating creates a membrane around the block, assisting the Home and Studio with preserving this National Historic Landmark.

 "Dow Corning and Dow Chemical have lead the way in teaching our community about community service and the power of investing in our community from a multitude of perspectives," McDonald said. 

The Alden B. Dow Home and Studio, designed and built in four sections, was constructed over a seven year period. Alden Dow’s career spanned more than 50 years, with over 300 of his structures built. Dow’s work influenced a generation of architects, and still continues to impact the region. In 1983, Dow was named the first Architect Laureate of Michigan.  

To learn more about the Alden B. Dow Home and Studio visit www.abdow.org

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